By Patricia Fripp CSP, CPAE
We've all heard that the fear of death is second only to the fear of public speaking. That may be true, but if you're looking for one of the cheapest and most effective methods of promoting your service or product, concentrate on the positive results of doing a presentation. Think of the contacts and prospective clients you'll be generating with just 20 minutes in front of an audience.
In case accentuating the positive isn't enough to keep the butterflies in your stomach in line, before you step up to the podium, take time to work through these exercises to help you channel all that nervousness into energy.
Physical Preparation: Warm up and relax your body and face.
If you're wearing high heels, take them off. Now, stand on one leg and shake the other. When you put your foot back on the ground, it's going to feel lighter than the other one. Now, switch legs and shake. You want your energy to go through the floor and out of your head. This sounds quite cosmic; it isn't. It's a practical technique used by actors. Shake your hands...fast. Hold them above your head, bending at the wrist and elbow and then bring your hands back down. This will make your hand movements more natural. Warm up your face muscles by chewing in a highly exaggerated way. Do shoulder and neck rolls. Imagine that you're eye level with a clock. As you look at 12, pull as much of your face up to 12 as you can; now move it to 3, then down to 6 and finally over to 9.
All of these exercises serve to warm you up and relax you. Those exaggerated movements make it easier for your movements to flow more naturally. Now concentrate on the potential customers you'll be cultivating with your talk. Aren't you getting a warm feeling just thinking about that?
Go on--step up on the podium and profit from the experience.
Patricia Fripp CSP,CPAE is a San Francisco-based professional speaker on Change, Teamwork, Customer Service, Promoting Business, and Communication Skills. She is the author of 'Get What You Want!' and Past-President of the National Speakers Association.